Review: First it was the epic reunion (wink wink) in the latest Spiderman instalment and now there’s the resurrection of the Matrix. Get the leather jackets, vinyl pants, motorcycle boots, bikes and futuristic sunglasses back for the Matrix universe is here. Need we say more? For movie goers, this December is loaded with some serious nostalgia. The last time this happened was two years ago, when Linda Hamilton returned to the Terminator series. Is the Matrix resurrection worth the wait though?
Before the Red light, green light of Squid Game, there was the red pill and the blue pill. Life is all about choices, isn’t it? It’s been over 20 years since the Wachowskis explored the human vs AI conflict and left you gloriously tangled in its complex world of simulated reality. Through Neo (Keanu Reeves), we were compelled to question our own existence and two lives. In this day and age of super intelligent machines, the story becomes all the more relevant and thought provoking. Lana Wachowski takes Thomas/Neo on a trippy ride once again, where he finds himself after losing his grip on reality. Only the Wachowski mind can weave a story as complex and stimulating.
While the action choreography, visionary visual effects gave the Matrix trilogy a cult status (bullet time), they overwhelmed the core theme of the film. This time around, Lana steers the film in the philosophical space rather than action with Neo-Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) love at its centre. This works as a double edged sword, as the iconic action is not as much as you’d have liked and that does pinch. Scenes, though moving, feel terribly long and dreary in parts.
What does work a great deal is the playful self-references. The film mocks itself much to your amusement. The program designers agree — “Reboots sell, don’t they?” This resurrection in itself isn’t as gripping but works as a solid precursor to the sequels.
Keanu Reeves gives an impression of self-doubt. You wonder if he isn’t absolutely convinced about returning to this cult character after two decades. Carrie-Anne Moss is more in sync with her role even after all these years. Jonathan Groff is terrific as agent Smith and Priyanka Chopra exudes courage and calm in her short but significant role.
This one’s a trippy reboot that’s both exciting and exhausting. It also requires you to have a background of the series. We suggest you revisit the trilogy before watching this one.